Three Britons arrested in false land sales scheme
30 April 2004
MALAGA – Spanish and British police have arrested three Britons who ran a real estate company which allegedly sold non-existent parcels of land on the Costa del Sol to their compatriots worth a total of EUR 1.5 million, authorities announced Friday.
Two of the suspects, identified as Elaine H., 47, and Paul Michael H., 50, both of Birmingham, were detained at a chalet in the Costa del Sol resort town of Mijas. The third suspect, Michelle Maria Louise G., 34, of Skelton, was arrested in Windsor, near London.
They were to be charged with real estate fraud, police said.
According to police, the three suspects and two others arrested earlier operated real estate promotion companies called “Lemon Falls” and “City List Enteprises” in the town of Alora, in Malaga Province, which used the internet to sell parcels of land to Britons looking for a holiday home on the coast.
The parcels were advertised as fully conditioned for pre-fabricated homes or caravans and the companies sold 88 of the lots for EUR 17,000 each. Officials said buyers began complaining to the authorities last January after it turned out the parcels did not exist.
Fraud officers from New Scotland Yard assisted the Spanish police in the investigation which also netted four all-terrain vehicles stolen in the United Kingdom and fitted with false number plates, faked British passports and counterfeit driving licences, as well as computers used in the scam.
Two other Britons believed involved in the fraud, Grant Sydney Lewis S., who had a bank account which the victims sent their money, and Mark H , who helped lure punters, were arrested in Spain last February.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news